Saturday, April 18, 2009
$2 Taco Tuesdays at The Spanish Kitchen
The first thing that hits you when you walk into the Spanish Kitchen is the wall of sound. Granted, I went on a very crowded night (apparently, everyone was as excited about $2 tacos as I was), but I actually feared that I must be doing significant damage to my ears just by sitting inside. And it's not that they had music blasting, it was just the sheer acoustics of the place. So, my husband, P, and I settled in for a night of yelling at each other (lovingly, of course - it was just out of necessity!).
We didn't have a reservation, so we had to wait fifteen minutes at the bar. Despite the acoustics, the decor of the place is lovely. The large, wrought iron bar takes up the main wall, surrounded by soft tortilla colored walls. The other wall is painted with a mural of what I can only assume is Spain, with it's fertile crops and flower boxed windows.
The hostess came and found us and brought us up to our table. While I waited for P to settle up the bar tab, I noticed the napkins smelled funny. To be sure, I smelled his too. Yup, definitely a funky odor. I don't know what they use to wash them, but it is not pleasant. Oh dear, I'm supposed to wipe my mouth with this??
Then came the chips and salsa. The chips were still warm (which I love!), but they were lacking salt - and there was none on the table. The dark red sauce had a slight kick, but otherwise wasn't too flavorful.
Oh well, we're here for the tacos! All tacos are served "with your choice of salsa" and in a hard or soft shell. Or at least, that's what the menu said. So, I chose three tacos from a selection of fourteen, and three sauces (out of twelve) that I thought would compliment them nicely. However, when the waitress finally made it to our table, she informed me that, no, you don't get to choose your salsa. They will just bring you some. Even though that's in direct contrast to what the menu says. I asked her what kind they would bring and she had no idea. All right then.
The best thing I can say is that the tacos came out very quickly. Granted, they came out without any salsa, so I had to flag someone down to bring us some. Then when it came, it was like pulling teeth to get a description of the four salsas. Looking around I couldn't help but notice that other tables had different looking salsas. So, essentially, they just randomly decide for you and have taken all choice out of the matter, thus making the description of twelve salsas on the menu into one big tease.
The tacos are about as small as you would expect $2 tacos to be, no more then four inches in length. I apologize that I wasn't able to take any pictures of them. (Who knew digital cameras don't charge when they're plugged in to your computer?? What's that? Oh, everyone knows cameras don't work like ipods? Oh, ok, I guess I'm just an idiot:)
The first one I tried was the Mexican BBQ Pulled Pork Taco. This turned out to be the best of the three, which is kind of like saying that "Wonderland" is Paris Hilton's best movie. Possibly true...but still, not an impressive feat. The pork was tender but too fatty, and the bbq had a slight hint of cinnamon. All of the tacos came with a sprinkling of chopped lettuce and tomatoes. These added texture, but were lacking the bright flavor I have come to expect when eating vegetables in California. Mostly, I think they just make the tacos look a little more full.
Next I tried the Char Grilled Veggies Taco. The restaurant must make a tidy profit on this little number, because there is practically nothing in it. Just a few grilled peppers in varying colors, some onions, and the aforementioned lettuce and tomatoes. There may have been a little carrot square too - there was something crunchy, but it didn't have any flavor and it was hard to tell in the dark restaurant. Mostly, I tasted tortilla.
Finally I went for the Seasoned Ground Beef Taco. Talk about a dud. The name leads me to believe it must have been cooked with some seasoning, but I certainly couldn't taste any. It was mostly just overcooked and flavorless.
Now, you know I love dessert, but P and I were so disheartened by the quality of our meal, we just wanted to go home (Where, I must admit, we had leftover homemade Texas Sheet Cake:).
So we got out bill, which wrongly charged us for an extra taco. Perfect ending.
Now, I know what you're thinking: "Your meal was $6 lady, what do you expect?" But, as P pointed out, "You can get a much better meal at In and Out for $6." So save your money and your stomach, and skip the Spanish Kitchen. This gets 1 belt notch out of 5.
If for some reason you still want to go (don't!), here's the info:
Tacos are $2 all night on Tuesday Nights
826 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90069